As electronically-stored information (ESI) has become the norm, as computers and mobile devices have proliferated, and as eDiscovery tools have multiplied, competence with technology has become an essential part of being an effective legal practitioner. Since 2012, that practical requirement has been slowly becoming a formal one.
The broad scope of ESI collection is broken down by the legal and technological scope. The scope of ESI collection is determined by requests from other parties and your own information. Collection scope is established by the FRCP or your state’s ruleset. The technological scope is summarized in that nothing can be overlooked based purely on its file format or source type.
Learn how computers store ESI by looking at their tiers and types of memory. See how computers work together to store different types of data in different places. Technology uses a constant flow of information store information on hard drives, RAM, and caches. Devices manage collection of discrete files to constantly evolve files that are read, modified, written, and deleted.
Learn about collecting and recovering ESI from computer memory with the difference between physical collections and logical collections, recovering deleted files, preventing data alteration and verifying the accuracy of the collection. Verifying the accuracy of collection is as important as avoiding source alteration.
We review the intersection of the legal requirements of collection and the technical process of data collection. The goal of evidence collection is to use evidence in court, whether by you or another party. The admissibility of a particular piece of evidence at trial can rely on its relevance, potential for prejudice, and status as hearsay.
Self-collection refers to a collection approach where custodians undertake the identification and collection of relevant documents from their own materials. This approach may be a reasonable choice in certain narrow circumstances, but in most common eDiscovery situations, the numerous, large downstream risks associated with it dwarf the small, up-front cost savings you might realize.
In-person collections are the most traditional approach, and typically involve sending the professional to the custodians and their devices. When custodians are too numerous or distributed, remote collections can be performed. Deciding the right collection method can save you time and money.
Most cases involve collection from a range of sources beyond individual custodians’ computers, which can entail unique complications. The other major categories of sources are: enterprise systems, mobile devices, social media sources, and cloud sources.